KARM serves on average nearly 1,000 meals per day, feeding not only the homeless, but many in crisis who must choose between food and other basic needs...those who may have a home, but are struggling to pay bills or buy food. A nutritious meal is often the first act of compassion that allow KARM staff and volunteers to engage with those in need and begin to develop relationships which help create hope and a way out of the cycle of poverty and homelessness.
Overnight shelter may follow, offering a safe place from the elements, rest, and loving staff and volunteers to listen and help.
There are many reasons why someone may become homeless. A house burns down, a job is lost, the person has poor job skills, mental illness, or an addiction that consumes. It can happen to anyone who doesn't have a “safety net” of family or friends to fall back on when crisis hits our lives. And when these times come, there are many ways that KARM responds:
- KARM serves three meals a day, 365 days per year to the poor and homeless
- KARM provides emergency shelter to nearly 400 men, women and children who have no where else to turn
- In a year's time as many as 7,227 men, women and children may receive 139,856 nights of shelter
- KARM provides immediate emergency shelter for families, then works with other family service providers in the East Tennessee area to find additional resources or housing. Since the economic downturn in the fall of 2008, more families are seeking shelter than ever before.
- KARM's Crossroads Welcome Center is pioneering a whole new way of serving the homeless during the day, creating a bold model for inter-agency cooperation. Crossroads is a practical starting point where people can get off the streets, use the restrooms, have access to computers, make phone calls and even stow their bags while they work to get off the streets. And now, instead of duplicating each other's services, secular agencies and Christian ministries from across Knoxville work together at Crossroads. The result is better care, superior follow-through, and greater success moving people out of homelessness.
KARM is the only facility of this magnitude in the Knoxville area. Without KARM, most, if not all, of the Knoxville area's homeless would be living in cars, on the streets or in campgrounds.